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Pro Vice Chancellor's Welcome


Pro Vice Chancellor's Welcome - Te Reo Māori

Welcome to the Division of Sciences.

As the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) I am delighted that you have taken the time to study our web pages. Whether you are here as a potential student, staff member or just for general interest, I hope you find what you want. If not, please do email us at

Science has been an essential cornerstone of the University of Otago since the institution was first founded in the latter part of the 19th century, although it was not until 1944 that a Faculty of Science was actually established and 1989 that the Division of Sciences was constituted. Since that time, science has grown in strength and status, and the diversity of subjects that can now be studied at undergraduate level and as a postgraduate is very broad. I invite you to look further at our web site for more detailed information.

As well as our touchstone BSc and BSc(Hons) degrees with their large assortment of majors, make sure you check our professional degrees, namely, Surveying, Physical Education and the BAppSc (with honours too), and our programmes that cut across normal departmental structures, e.g. genetics, neuroscience and ecology to name just a few.

In the vein of the very best science-focused universities, the academic and general staff at Otago are stellar, with a very large proportion of staff being engaged in world class research – as independently measured by the Performance Based Research Fund. Indeed the Division of Sciences’ aggregate quality score for research is the highest in New Zealand, so we are very proud of our staff and the cutting edge results that they repeatedly produce. Facilities are also first rate, both in relation to scientific equipment, and laboratories and teaching space, and are continuously being upgraded so that we remain at the forefront of scientific endeavour. All this helps to ensure that our postgraduate students, whether studying for a Masters degree by papers and thesis, or by thesis alone, or researching for a PhD, get the absolute best facilities and support we can achieve to produce the best outcomes.

Thank you again for your visit and every good wish for the future.

Professor Keith Hunter